President Cyril Ramaphosa announced today that South Africa will move to Level 1 lockdown on Sunday. International travel restrictions will also be eased, the restrictions may remain in place for visitors from high risk countries. Travelers will have to prove by way of a negative COVID-19 test that they did not test positive for the virus 72 hours prior to arrival. If they do test positive for the virus they will have to go into quarantine at their own cost.
South Africa has suffered 15,705 deaths as a result of Covid, from 635,000 cases testing positive, though the infection rate has dropped markedly in the last month.
In an address to the nation on Wednesday , the lifting of restrictions means the curfew will be relaxed – meaning South Africans will be able to stay outdoors until 12pm to 4:00am in the morning.
This will bring relief to the embattled tourism sector which has suffered immeasurable harm as a result of the lockdown.
The country went into lockdown in March , and figures released last week show the economy contracted by 51% in the second quarter of the year.
there had been growing and angry calls from business and employ organisations for a lifting of restrictions that prevent the economy returning to normal.
The move to alert level 1 means relaxed restrictions on social, religious, political and other gatherings, although certain restrictions will remain in place.
The president said venues will be able to host up to 250 people indoors, and a maximum of 500 people outdoors.
“Travellers will only be able to use one of the land border posts that have remained operational during the lockdown or one of the three main airports: King Shaka, OR Tambo and Cape Town International Airport,” said the President.
The sale of alcohol will now be further relaxed, with liquor outlets allowed to sell Monday to Friday (previously they were only allowed to sell Monday to Thursday).